T Nation

Advice on My Future Plans with 5/3/1


Hi Jim & others. I was hoping you would take a look, at my future plans using 5/3/1.

I started a “healthier life journey” about a year or so ago and went from 130 to 100 kg. My main focus was of course losing weight, but also getting stronger and just getting in a better shape overall. I lost a lot of weight and got a lot stronger using 5/3/1. I did 4 days/week 5/3/1 + BBB(50%) and on my DL/Squat days i would do abs & cardio. It works really well and i’m planing on reaching my goal weight (85-90kg) this year. Besides the weight loss, strength and overall shape, I have a few other goals i want to achieve and that is doing weighted chins, dips and pull ups for a decent amount of sets/reps. These kind of exercises have been a major problem for me due to my fat and weak body. So what i really want to ask, is how i should go about achieving these goals while doing 5/3/1. Should i skip the BBB and focus on other accessory? Is it too big a goal while losing weight ? Any advice is greatly appreciated !

Also a big thanks to you and the work you have put in this program and the many educational post you keep making online. :+1:


Follow the principles. I wouldn’t combine BBB with weighted chins or dips, but that doesn’t mean YOU can’t. Start by being able to do 5x5 with bodyweight and then get up to 5x10 with bodyweight in dips and chins. Now add 5 pounds (vest, dip belt, dumbbell - although I don’t really recommend dumbbell unless that’s all you have access to) and get to 5x5, work up to 5x10. Add 5 pounds. It doesn’t matter what main program/template you do since chins and dips are accessory lifts but it doesn’t hurt to get stronger in your accessories either. Just follow the principles, start too light, progress slowly, etc…


I had great success with a slow progression on chin-ups. It was inspired by Selkow’s Method and something I read here. (It might have been Selkow’s method. It has been over a year.)

I found an amount of chin-ups I could do in one set. Then I subtracted 3-4 chins from that. I think I could do 7. My goal became to do 10 sets of 4.

I did 9 sets of 4 supersetted with upper body lifts. Then I did an AMRAP on the last set. Say I got 6. So my total for the day was 42.

The next week, I did 5 for two sets, then 4 for the rest and an AMRAP at the end. I divided that total up the same way. I gradually added reps to the earlier sets as dictated by my previous week’s total. I ended up increasing my total by 2-3 most weeks and within the year was able to knock out 10x10.

I used different grips on the different days and thus different amounts of reps. On lower body days I went for weighted reps or inverted rows as needed. It isn’t complicated but might seem like it. The bottom line is that I increased my total reps in small increments. Just like with anything, those small increases looked more significant after months.


Hi Marc. Thanks for replying!

I did think about taking a break from BBB while doing this. Also BBB is already pretty hard on a calorie deficit, so adding dips/chins might be a bit much.

Would you do 5x5 dips/chins on the same day, twice a week or split them up and do dips on press/bench and chins on DL/squat days ?


Hi Tepford! Appreciate the reply.

I will definitely look in to the Selkow’s Method - I believe i already did read one of his articles, Pull-up 101, Part I, but i found it to be quite confusing at the time. Going to give it another read.


First off I wouldn’t do BBB on a calorie deficit. If you want to lose fat, do the basic 5/3/1 or a NOV style template 3 days a week and supplement the with weighted chins and dips. Use the kitchen and conditioning to lose fat; your program must meet your goals and BBB is to get bigger, not smaller.

I don’t think it matters what day you do the weighted chins and dips. If your goal is to really maximize them, I’d follow what Tepford suggested one day a week for chins, and then do weighted 5x5 on the next day - same for dips. So on Press day do weighted chins and bodyweight dips, but on Bench day do bodyweight chins and weighted dips. I would continue to do abs and conditioning on Squat and Deadlift day.

Jim has an excellent post on his blog about mixing up your chins each workout - some weighted, some for max reps, some for total volume. Search “Wendler Weighted Chins” in google and the first link that pops up will take you to it.


Alright, i’m going to skip BBB for now and get back to that, when i want to put on some size again. I’m going to follow The Triumvirate style template and use Dips/Chins for my accessory work and see where it leads me. Truly appreciate the advise man.